Author(s): Chang YC, Tai KW, Lii CK, Chou LS, Chou MY
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Abstract Arecoline, a major betel nut alkaloid, has been detected in saliva obtained during betel nut chewing in concentrations up to 140 micrograms/ml, corresponding to 0.9 mM. Arecoline in the millimolar concentration range might participate in the initiation and/or progression of periodontal disease during the long-term effects of betel nut chewing. In this study, cell growth, cell proliferation, assessment of cytoplasmic enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and collagen synthesis were used to investigate the effects of human gingival fibroblasts exposed to arecoline levels of 0-200 micrograms/ml. Control culture exhibited a normal monolayer of long spindle-shaped fibroblast morphology. Arecoline-treated human gingival fibroblasts showed a more rounded appearance and detached at the higher concentrations. At concentrations higher than 75 micrograms/ml, many cells had detached from the surface of the petri dish and numerous floating cells could be seen under the inverted microscope. At a concentrations higher than 25 micrograms/ml, arecoline inhibited cell growth, proliferation and collagen synthesis and increased LDH leakage in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.05). These results indicate that arecoline is a cytotoxic agent to human gingival fibroblasts. Repeated and long-term exposure to arecoline could impair gingival fibroblast function. Betel quid chewers might be more susceptible to destruction of the periodontium and less responsive to a regeneration procedures during periodontal therapy.
This article was published in Clin Oral Investig
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy